Memorising genealogy / family trees

Hi, I’m thinking of learning something that is organised as a family tree, perhaps something like this:

I did a few searches on the forum and couldn’t find anything that directly applies to this, so apologies if there is already a fully-formed discussion out there.

Ideally, whatever system I have should be flexible enough to accommodate additions / new data to be added in the future.

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I used 2 approaches:

  1. King of level and history: it´s translating the tree into levels, and learning the king (nodo father) and all of his sons.
  2. Using a Matrix: you have to learn a Matrix first, after you link the position of the matrix with the one you want to link.

Typical Matrix you may know to use it:

  1. The table of a chess
  2. The periodic system of elements

If not, you can make one funny, it´s difficult to get, but it´s like major system, once you have it, you can use wardrobe or a lot of things to get the info you need.

My tree wasn´t too big , so I used the first approach with Loci, I made a list of level, and every level had a list of sons, every son was a history I sketchnoted.
It had 5 leves, those are, 5 hooks, with (2-4 histories), it means, 5 hooks for every level, 10-20 nested hooks, and 10-20 sketchnoted histories, it´s may sound difficult, but if you work with it, it´s 2 days working a bit, faster than try to remember everything by repetition.

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I am dragging up this older topic because I have been asked by a reader of Memory Craft how to memorise family trees and it is something which has eluded me.

I was thinking in terms of the way Australian Aboriginal cultures memorise vastly complicated relationships which include everyone in their tribe and related in other tribes. It is way too complicated for my poor brain. All I know is that it is more like a relational database - the person in the centre and everyone else in a relationship with them.

But I was thinking about whether a mandala or some other mind-map type layout with you at the centre might work.

Any new ideas on this topic?



I would think that one would need to memorize the actual tree as a tree structure. Perhaps unique images (based on some defining characteristic of the couple?) created for each couple with progeny on the tree to mark generations.

The relational structure would then be given by the structure of the tree itself. So during recitation you could center the map on any individual, and trace their relationships.

Besides images for each generation, one would need images for the names of course, and probably interaction between the various characters of the tree who are close together such as sisters and brothers (friends of each could also be worked in to the mini-stories created by the interacting members of the tree).

To aid learning, I would also work on drawing the tree from memory (with images) as it is created. Review would consist of centering the tree on a person in your imagination and tracing their relationships, with occasional reviews for the entire tree.

Of course new information could be worked in to the mini-stories (which are local in nature), and therefore wouldn’t disrupt the entire tree.


For me, the idea of a family “tree” is so ingrained, I would have to stick with memorizing it as a tree, I think. In addition to providing a familiar—and, frankly, extremely functional—image, a tree also gives you some built-in limitations that could be helpful for keeping the memorizer focused. Branches/levels will be stable and will keep parents/children at the center of things.

If I were doing this, I would need to distinguish each “level” of the tree from the others, give each one some special kind of identifier, so I have a clearer idea of where I am in the history. Personally, I also find it helpful to keep track of how many total items have been memorized in any given level.



Really interesting. Thank you. I shall covey these answers to my reader. When I get a chance, I’d like to try both ways. But I can’t see either the centre-on-yourself or tree structure working very well for memory given the size these things can be. But I won’t know until I try it.

Thank you again!

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